We have an influx of movements happening around the world today: the slow food movement, van life, off-grid, back-to-land living, to name a few. At the crux of all these movements is the necessity for downtime. The need for time. The need to step away from the continual rat race society insists upon.
Our nervous systems have long been hijacked. Everything pulls at our attention. We’re high-strung and sold out, exhausted, and feeling a deep lack of time to get things done. Never mind the things we’d really like to do: our creative ideas and watching sunsets; the nighttime sky and full moon.
It’s a turning back of sorts now. And it’s calling to people. We’ve created movements and names for these activities: forest bathing, earthing—all things our ancestors did. Now we’re wired and fired, accommodating our culture’s go-go-go, constant-stream-of-technology consciousness. It’s like our engines continue to be revved up.
Time to reset
We need a breather. We need leisure. This idea of leisure time—of doing nothing, of strolling, or meandering, of pondering, of merely sitting and watching passers by—it’s a novel idea, a fantasy for most of us, and an impossible idea for many.
But it comes back to who and what and how and why we’re living. It’s looking at the ways in which we choose into our cultural system and the ways we can opt out. Yes, even with our commitments, our lifestyles are always our choice. Modeling instills the values we honor and shows others our commitment to changing not only the world, but our world.
Time well spent
A world that honors quality of life is the world I want to live in. A world where joy, laughter, and fun are seen as necessary parts of this incarnation. A world that acknowledges where we’re headed and where we’ve been—a world that could very likely go off the rails if we’re not careful to slow down.
Yes. Slowing down.
Imagine silence. Imagine a silence that’s so silent it’s felt all around you and in your bones. This silence pervades nature, cuts off the noise of society, and allows you to commune with your soul and the deeper aspects of your mind.
Perhaps your thoughts soften, perhaps you drift on a light sleep. Perhaps birds sing in the backdrop and trees rustle in the wind; you watch clouds trail across the sky. You feel yourself alive.
This is leisure time. Time spent doing what you enjoy, what makes you laugh, what connects you back to nature and to family. Time that knows no restraints. Time that’s yours to connect with, be still and remember what it’s like to be a child with a childlike nature.
This leisure time we can create. It’s necessary that we instill S P A C E. Freedom. Openness. Endlessness. Opportunities to open the silence within and the stillness without—without endless distractions and needless things, removing that which we can. Because we can. Much as we protest that everything we do is necessary, is taking the time to look at the stars each night worth missing? We will never forget time spent with family and friends, and time spent in creative repose adds value to our lives each day.
In our hectic, day-to-day lives creating this priority is choosing what is best for our soul, our comfort and our sanity. Leisure time may not be a thing of the past. We can keep it alive. We can create the movement for stillness and peace, of our soul wandering through the fall leaves, taking just a moment in the stillness. Or letting laughter ring out. Leisure time is not a luxury but a necessity.